Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Party Politics

Party Politics
P. Schultz
January 31, 2012

“When the empire strikes back, it hits hard. The Republican establishment is deploying every weapon and every soldier—even Bob Dole—in an increasingly desperate attempt to pulverize the Newt Gingrich rebellion. Eventually, the shock-and-awe campaign may work.

“But then what? In the establishment’s best-case scenario, the party is left with Mitt Romney, a candidate whose core message, as far as I can tell, seems to be: “Yes, I made a ton of money. You got a problem with that?”

This is from a blog on Truthdig and it’s argument will come as no surprise of those who read this blog. Party politics is almost always concerned with the alleged competition between what are taken to be our “two” parties, while ignoring the competition that takes place within our parties. Here the “Republican establishment” is recognized, as well as its concern with a Gingrich presidential run. Of course, should Gingrich get the nomination, this same establishment will be all too willing to let and even help Obama win re-election. As I have noted before, Obama poses no threat to the power of the Republican establishment and, hence, is less dangerous to them and their power than a Gingrich win would be. Although I have no knowledge of what happened, my guess is that this fear is what led to Gingrich’s demise in the House of Representatives.

Of course, the Democratic Party, that is, the establishment within the Democratic Party, behaves the same way, protecting itself from “insurgents” who threaten their power. Hence, although in one recent Congressional election, 2010, after the Democrats took it on the chin, Nancy Pelosi was, nonetheless, re-elected as the leader of the Democrats in the House. If the establishment saw this result as a failure, re-electing Pelosi would make little sense. However, if the result was actually viewed positively, as getting rid of Democrats who might threaten the power of the establishment types, then her re-election makes perfect sense. 


This is really quite a good article for illuminating the phenomenon of how our political parties operate to preserve the power of their establishments.

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